“And when ye see the south wind blow, ye say, There will be heat; and it cometh to pass..”
Man has always been fascinated with the weather. Some of the effects of weather on health are obvious. Death rates rise in areas experiencing extreme heat waves or severe air pollution. Researchers also agree that too little sunlight can result in depression in many people. And a 1997 study by the University of Massachusetts Medical School found a correlation between falling barometric pressure and the onset of labor.
The most dramatic weather link, however, involves geomagnetic storms. These are caused when storms on the sun compress or decompress the Earth’s magnetic field. Researchers noticed increased numbers of babies suddenly dying in their sleep during geomagnetic storms. This is known as crib-death. It was known that crib-death victims had low levels of melatonin before they died. Melatonin controls the amount of nitrous oxide, an essential compound for breathing, present in our blood. Researchers theorized that the magnetic effects of a geomagnetic storm could decrease melatonin levels during sleep and therefore result in breathing problems. They tested this theory by subjecting baby rats to low intensity magnetic fields. The baby rats did indeed show a decrease in melatonin before they stopped breathing. This evidence indicates that geomagnetic storms are likely to trigger crib-deaths or SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). It is hoped, this research will come up with a way to prevent these tragic deaths.
Although the perfect world that God created was ruined by sin, we are told that He will one day redeem it.
Prayer: Lord, prosper all research that improves our lives here in this life. Amen.
Notes: Discover, 6/00, pp. 78-81, “Is the Weather Driving You Crazy?” Illustration: Artist’s depiction of solar wind particles interacting with Earth’s magnetosphere. (PD)